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Paul Merrell

The All Writs Act, Software Licenses, and Why Judges Should Ask More Questions | Just Security - 0 views

  • Pending before federal magistrate judge James Orenstein is the government’s request for an order obligating Apple, Inc. to unlock an iPhone and thereby assist prosecutors in decrypting data the government has seized and is authorized to search pursuant to a warrant. In an order questioning the government’s purported legal basis for this request, the All Writs Act of 1789 (AWA), Judge Orenstein asked Apple for a brief informing the court whether the request would be technically feasible and/or burdensome. After Apple filed, the court asked it to file a brief discussing whether the government had legal grounds under the AWA to compel Apple’s assistance. Apple filed that brief and the government filed a reply brief last week in the lead-up to a hearing this morning.
  • We’ve long been concerned about whether end users own software under the law. Software owners have rights of adaptation and first sale enshrined in copyright law. But software publishers have claimed that end users are merely licensees, and our rights under copyright law can be waived by mass-market end user license agreements, or EULAs. Over the years, Granick has argued that users should retain their rights even if mass-market licenses purport to take them away. The government’s brief takes advantage of Apple’s EULA for iOS to argue that Apple, the software publisher, is responsible for iPhones around the world. Apple’s EULA states that when you buy an iPhone, you’re not buying the iOS software it runs, you’re just licensing it from Apple. The government argues that having designed a passcode feature into a copy of software which it owns and licenses rather than sells, Apple can be compelled under the All Writs Act to bypass the passcode on a defendant’s iPhone pursuant to a search warrant and thereby access the software owned by Apple. Apple’s supplemental brief argues that in defining its users’ contractual rights vis-à-vis Apple with regard to Apple’s intellectual property, Apple in no way waived its own due process rights vis-à-vis the government with regard to users’ devices. Apple’s brief compares this argument to forcing a car manufacturer to “provide law enforcement with access to the vehicle or to alter its functionality at the government’s request” merely because the car contains licensed software. 
  • This is an interesting twist on the decades-long EULA versus users’ rights fight. As far as we know, this is the first time that the government has piggybacked on EULAs to try to compel software companies to provide assistance to law enforcement. Under the government’s interpretation of the All Writs Act, anyone who makes software could be dragooned into assisting the government in investigating users of the software. If the court adopts this view, it would give investigators immense power. The quotidian aspects of our lives increasingly involve software (from our cars to our TVs to our health to our home appliances), and most of that software is arguably licensed, not bought. Conscripting software makers to collect information on us would afford the government access to the most intimate information about us, on the strength of some words in some license agreements that people never read. (And no wonder: The iPhone’s EULA came to over 300 pages when the government filed it as an exhibit to its brief.)
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  • The government’s brief does not acknowledge the sweeping implications of its arguments. It tries to portray its requested unlocking order as narrow and modest, because it “would not require Apple to make any changes to its software or hardware, … [or] to introduce any new ability to access data on its phones. It would simply require Apple to use its existing capability to bypass the passcode on a passcode-locked iOS 7 phone[.]” But that undersells the implications of the legal argument the government is making: that anything a company already can do, it could be compelled to do under the All Writs Act in order to assist law enforcement. Were that the law, the blow to users’ trust in their encrypted devices, services, and products would be little different than if Apple and other companies were legally required to design backdoors into their encryption mechanisms (an idea the government just can’t seem to drop, its assurances in this brief notwithstanding). Entities around the world won’t buy security software if its makers cannot be trusted not to hand over their users’ secrets to the US government. That’s what makes the encryption in iOS 8 and later versions, which Apple has told the court it “would not have the technical ability” to bypass, so powerful — and so despised by the government: Because no matter how broadly the All Writs Act extends, no court can compel Apple to do the impossible.
Gary Edwards

Apple's extensions: Good or bad for the open web? | Fyrdility - 0 views

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    Fyrdility asks the question; when it comes to the future of the Open Web, is Apple worse than Microsoft? He laments the fact that Apple pushes forward with innovations that have yet to be discussed by the great Web community. Yes, they faithfully submit these extensions and innovations back to the W3C as open standards proposals, but there is no waiting around for discussion or judgement. Apple is on a mission.

    IMHO, what Apple and the WebKit community do is not that much different from the way GPL based open source communities work, except that Apple works without the GPL guarantee. The WebKit innovations and extensions are similar to GPL forks in the shared source code; done in the open, contributed back to the community, with the community responsible for interoperability going forward.

    There are good forks and there are not so good forks. But it's not always a technology-engineering discussion that drives interop. sometimes it's marketshare and user uptake that carry the day. And indeed, this is very much the case with Apple and the WebKit community. The edge of the Web belongs to WebKit and the iPhone. The "forks" to the Open Web source code are going to weigh heavy on concerns for interop with the greater Web.

    One thing Fyrdility fails to recognize is the importance of the ACiD3 test to future interop. Discussion is important, but nothing beats the leveling effect of broadly measuring innovation for interop - and doing so without crippling innovation.

    "......Apple is heavily involved in the W3C and WHATWG, where they help define specifications. They are also well-known for implementing many unofficial CSS extensions, which are subsequently submitted for standardization. However, Apple is also known for preventing its representatives from participating in panels such as the annual Browser Wars panels at SXSW, which expresses a much less cooperative position...."
Gary Edwards

Apple and Facebook Flash Forward to Computer Memory of the Future | Enterprise | WIRED - 1 views

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    Great story that is at the center of a new cloud computing platform. I met David Flynn back when he was first demonstrating the Realmsys flash card. Extraordinary stuff. He was using the technology to open a secure Linux computing window on an operating Windows XP system. The card opened up a secure data socket, connecting to any Internet Server or Data Server, and running applications on that data - while running Windows and Windows apps in the background. Incredible mesh of Linux, streaming data, and legacy Windows apps. Everytime I find these tech pieces explaining Fusion-io though, I can't help but think that David Flynn is one of the most decent, kind and truly deserving of success people that I have ever met. excerpt: "apple is spending mountains of money on a new breed of hardware device from a company called Fusion-io. As a public company, Fusion-io is required to disclose information about customers that account for an usually large portion of its revenue, and with its latest annual report, the Salt Lake City outfit reveals that in 2012, at least 25 percent of its revenue - $89.8 million - came from apple. That's just one figure, from just one company. But it serves as a sign post, showing you where the modern data center is headed. 'There's now a blurring between the storage world and the memory world. People have been enlightened by Fusion-io.' - Gary Gentry Inside a data center like the one apple operates in Maiden, North Carolina, you'll find thousands of computer servers. Fusion-io makes a slim card that slots inside these machines, and it's packed with hundreds of gigabytes of flash memory, the same stuff that holds all the software and the data on your smartphone. You can think of this card as a much-needed replacement for the good old-fashioned hard disk that typically sits inside a server. Much like a hard disk, it stores information. But it doesn't have any moving parts, which means it's generally more reliable. It c
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

This Is WAR: Spotify Tells Subscribers Not to Pay Apple's 30% Cut... - Digital Music NewsDigital Music News - 0 views

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    "Want to enjoy Spotify on your iPhone, a platform that Apple built? Then you have to go through the App Store, where Apple takes 30 percent of the monthly subscription price. That is, unless you go around Apple and its terms of service regarding subscriptions. Here's an email that Spotify just sent to subscribers, telling them how to circumvent that and the extra charge Spotify added on to pay the 30% cut."
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    "Want to enjoy Spotify on your iPhone, a platform that Apple built? Then you have to go through the App Store, where Apple takes 30 percent of the monthly subscription price. That is, unless you go around Apple and its terms of service regarding subscriptions. Here's an email that Spotify just sent to subscribers, telling them how to circumvent that and the extra charge Spotify added on to pay the 30% cut."
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

The Short, Troubled History of Apple Music | Digital Music News - 0 views

    • Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.
       
      # ! #Music (#business) is NOT for Everyone. # ! Not even for the Recording Industry itself, # ! as actually crafted... # ! :)
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    "June 8th: Apple unveils Apple Music, while promoting an 'indie artist' that doesn't exist. The company confidently declares that Apple Music will reach 100 million paying subscribers."
Paul Merrell

EXCLUSIVE: Edward Snowden Explains Why Apple Should Continue To Fight the Government on Encryption - 0 views

  • As the Obama administration campaign to stop the commercialization of strong encryption heats up, National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden is firing back on behalf of the companies like Apple and Google that are finding themselves under attack. “Technologists and companies working to protect ordinary citizens should be Applauded, not sued or prosecuted,” Snowden wrote in an email through his lawyer. Snowden was asked by The Intercept to respond to the contentious suggestion — made Thursday on a blog that frequently promotes the interests of the national security establishment — that companies like Apple and Google might in certain cases be found legally liable for providing material aid to a terrorist organization because they provide encryption services to their users.
  • In his email, Snowden explained how law enforcement officials who are demanding that U.S. companies build some sort of window into unbreakable end-to-end encryption — he calls that an “insecurity mandate” — haven’t thought things through. “The central problem with insecurity mandates has never been addressed by its proponents: if one government can demand access to private communications, all governments can,” Snowden wrote. “No matter how good the reason, if the U.S. sets the precedent that Apple has to compromise the security of a customer in response to a piece of government paper, what can they do when the government is China and the customer is the Dalai Lama?”
  • Weakened encryption would only drive people away from the American technology industry, Snowden wrote. “Putting the most important driver of our economy in a position where they have to deal with the devil or lose access to international markets is public policy that makes us less competitive and less safe.”
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  • FBI Director James Comey and others have repeatedly stated that law enforcement is “going dark” when it comes to the ability to track bad actors’ communications because of end-to-end encrypted messages, which can only be deciphered by the sender and the receiver. They have never provided evidence for that, however, and have put forth no technologically realistic alternative. Meanwhile, Apple and Google are currently rolling out user-friendly end-to-end encryption for their customers, many of whom have demanded greater privacy protections — especially following Snowden’s disclosures.
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Apple on trial: Company execs say DRM was forced on them by record labels | Ars Technica [# ! + Note] - 1 views

    • Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.
       
      http://www.thestreet.com/story/12729035/1/apple-should-hire-taylor-swift-start-its-own-record-label.html
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    #Apple cheats... again # ! as It is trying its own music label... http://www.thestreet.com/story/12729035/1/Apple-should-hire-taylor-swift-start-its-own-record-label.html
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    (Apple lies... again. It is trying its own music label... http://www.thestreet.com/story/12729035/1/Apple-should-hire-taylor-swift-start-its-own-record-label.html)
Paul Merrell

Apple's New Challenge: Learning How the U.S. Cracked Its iPhone - The New York Times - 0 views

  • Now that the United States government has cracked open an iPhone that belonged to a gunman in the San Bernardino, Calif., mass shooting without Apple’s help, the tech company is under pressure to find and fix the flaw.But unlike other cases where security vulnerabilities have cropped up, Apple may face a higher set of hurdles in ferreting out and repairing the particular iPhone hole that the government hacked.The challenges start with the lack of information about the method that the law enforcement authorities, with the aid of a third party, used to break into the iPhone of Syed Rizwan Farook, an attacker in the San Bernardino rampage last year. Federal officials have refused to identify the person, or organization, who helped crack the device, and have declined to specify the procedure used to open the iPhone. Apple also cannot obtain the device to reverse-engineer the problem, the way it would in other hacking situations.
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    It would make a very interesting Freedom of Information Act case if Apple sued under that Act to force disclosure of the security hole iPhone product defect the FBI exploited. I know of no interpretation of the law enforcement FOIA exemption that would justify FBI disclosure of the information. It might be alleged that the information is the trade secret of the company that disclosed the defect and exploit to the the FBI, but there's a very strong argument that the fact that the information was shared with the FBI waived the trade secrecy claim. And the notion that government is entitled to collect product security defects and exploit them without informing the exploited product's company of the specific defect is extremely weak.  Were I Tim Cook, I would have already told my lawyers to get cracking on filing the FOIA request with the FBI to get the legal ball rolling. 
Gary Edwards

The new UI wars: Why there's no Flash on iPhone 2.0 « counternotions - 0 views

  • - publishers of Flash apps have to port their apps to native Web apps if they want to run inside a Web browser going forward because the Web has moved off the PC, you can’t accessorize it with PC software anymore, WebKit is so small and light and cross-platform that it is the plug-in now, inside iPhone, iPod, Nokia, Android, iTunes and other Mac and Windows apps - publishers of Flash video have to deploy MPEG-4 H.264/AAC if they want to run inside an audio-video player (on any device) going forward, the decoder chips for this are already in EVERYTHING, from iPod to Blu-Ray to NVIDIA GPU’s Most of the world has already done both of the above, including Google and Apple. This is not the beginning of the end for Flash, it is the end of the end.
  • Notice he doesn’t say at all that Flash is running natively on the ARM CPU inside the iPhone. And once again, as I point out in the article above, technical problems may be solved by Adobe, but cross-platform runtime compatibility and multi-touch UI frameworks remain as serious impediments.
  • the direction Apple is taking in WebKit with canvas, downloadable fonts, SVG, CSS animation, CSS transformations, faster JavaScript, HTML5 audio/video embedding, exposure of multi-touch to JS and so on is precisely to create an open source alternative to the Flash runtime engine, without having to download a proprietary plugin:
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    this article takes the RiA discussion to an entirely new level - the battle between Apple, Adobe and Microsoft to control the future user interface (UI). Adobe Flash extends the aging WiMP model, trying to create a "UI Convergence" across many platforms through the Flash RiA. With iPhone, Apple introduces the patented "gestures UI", running off the WebKit RiA. Microsoft presumably is copying the Flash RiA with the XAML rich WPF Silverlight RiA. Unfortunately, counternotions doe snot cover Silverlight. This incredible discussion is limited to Adobe and Apple.
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Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Swift: Apple anuncia soporte para GNU/Linux en su lenguaje de programación - 0 views

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    [... Por estas horas las noticias más comentadas tienen que ver con Apple y su evento WWDC (Worlwide Developers Conference) ... Sucede que entre los muchos anuncios del día, en Apple han confirmado que su lenguaje de programación Swift será open source, y entre las plataformas soportadas está GNU/Linux."
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    [... Por estas horas las noticias más comentadas tienen que ver con Apple y su evento WWDC (Worlwide Developers Conference) ... Sucede que entre los muchos anuncios del día, en Apple han confirmado que su lenguaje de programación Swift será open source, y entre las plataformas soportadas está GNU/Linux."
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Apple on trial: Were iTunes updates really an anti-consumer scheme? | Ars Technica - 0 views

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    "OAKLAND, Calif. - The Apple iTunes DRM trial underway in federal court here will come down to how jurors view certain code that Apple added to iTunes. The plaintiffs, representing a class of about 8 million consumers as well as large retailers, say it was anything but an "upgrade." They're seeking $351 million in damages."
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    "OAKLAND, Calif. - The Apple iTunes DRM trial underway in federal court here will come down to how jurors view certain code that Apple added to iTunes. The plaintiffs, representing a class of about 8 million consumers as well as large retailers, say it was anything but an "upgrade." They're seeking $351 million in damages."
Paul Merrell

The Wifi Alliance, Coming Soon to Your Neighborhood: 5G Wireless | Global Research - Centre for Research on Globalization - 0 views

  • Just as any new technology claims to offer the most advanced development; that their definition of progress will cure society’s ills or make life easier by eliminating the drudgery of antiquated appliances, the Wifi Alliance  was organized as a worldwide wireless network to connect ‘everyone and everything, everywhere” as it promised “improvements to nearly every aspect of daily life.”    The Alliance, which makes no pretense of potential health or environmental concerns, further proclaimed (and they may be correct) that there are “more wifi devices than people on earth”.   It is that inescapable exposure to ubiquitous wireless technologies wherein lies the problem.   
  • Even prior to the 1997 introduction of commercially available wifi devices which has saturated every industrialized country, EMF wifi hot spots were everywhere.  Today with the addition of cell and cordless phones and towers, broadcast antennas, smart meters and the pervasive computer wifi, both adults and especially vulnerable children are surrounded 24-7 by an inescapable presence with little recognition that all radiation exposure is cumulative.    
  • The National Toxicology Program (NTP), a branch of the US National Institute for Health (NIH), conducted the world’s largest study on radiofrequency radiation used by the US telecommunications industry and found a ‘significantly statistical increase in brain and heart cancers” in animals exposed to EMF (electromagnetic fields).  The NTP study confirmed the connection between mobile and wireless phone use and human brain cancer risks and its conclusions were supported by other epidemiological peer-reviewed studies.  Of special note is that studies citing the biological risk to human health were below accepted international exposure standards.    
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    ""…what this means is that the current safety standards as off by a factor of about 7 million.' Pointing out that a recent FCC Chair was a former lobbyist for the telecom industry, "I know how they've attacked various people.  In the U.S. … the funding for the EMF research [by the Environmental Protection Agency] was cut off starting in 1986 … The U.S. Office of Naval Research had been funding a fair amount of research in this area [in the '70s]. They [also] … stopped funding new grants in 1986 …  And then the NIH a few years later followed the same path …" As if all was not reason enough for concern or even downright panic,  the next generation of wireless technology known as 5G (fifth generation), representing the innocuous sounding Internet of Things, promises a quantum leap in power and exceedingly more damaging health impacts with mandatory exposures.      The immense expansion of radiation emissions from the current wireless EMF frequency band and 5G about to be perpetrated on an unsuspecting American public should be criminal.  Developed by the US military as non lethal perimeter and crowd control, the Active Denial System emits a high density, high frequency wireless radiation comparable to 5G and emits radiation in the neighborhood of 90 GHz.    The current Pre 5G, frequency band emissions used in today's commercial wireless range is from 300 Mhz to 3 GHZ as 5G will become the first wireless system to utilize millimeter waves with frequencies ranging from 30 to 300 GHz. One example of the differential is that a current LANS (local area network system) uses 2.4 GHz.  Hidden behind these numbers is an utterly devastating increase in health effects of immeasurable impacts so stunning as to numb the senses. In 2017, the international Environmental Health Trust recommended an EU moratorium "on the roll-out of the fifth generation, 5G, for telecommunication until potential hazards for human health and the environment hav
Gary Edwards

Flash Wars: The Many Enemies and Obstacles of Flash [Part 2 of 3] - AppleInsider Comments - 0 views

  • Throughout 2007, Apple stripped nearly every vestige of Flash from its corporate site and other products, and began recommending that developers use open standards instead. As noted in Gone in a Flash: More on Apple’s iPhone Web Plans, last summer Apple published a document titled "Optimizing Web Applications and Content for iPhone," which not only listed Flash as the single bullet point item under a listing of "unsupported technologies," but went on to explicitly encourage developers to "stick with standards," and use CSS, JavaScript, and Ajax instead.
  • Microsoft has already begun leveraging its Windows and Office monopolies to distribute Silverlight as a Flash-killer on both the Windows PC desktop and on the Mac. When Microsoft releases a Mac product, it can only mean one thing: it's working hard to kill a cross platform threat to Windows.
  • the new Cocoa iPhone/iPod Touch SDK not only offers Adobe insufficient means to develop a Flash plugin, but also clearly forbids the development of runtimes designed to advance competing platforms on top of the native Cocoa environment, whether Flash, Silverlight, or Java.
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  • Apple is fighting for control of media distribution with open standards! What is it you do not get about Mpeg4, AAC, MP3 and H.264?
  • Silverlight will just not play H264 content : as usual, microsoft has adopted a look alike, incompatible video format : VC1. About why Quicktime is better that Flash when it comes to serious H264 usage, you may want to have a look at the following note/demonstration of a quicktime+javascript player : http://blog.vrarchitect.net/post/200...ter-than-Flash In short : Quicktime can reach any frame of a video. Flash just reach the I-Frames. So if you have a GOP/keyframing of 250 for instance, you can see only one frame every 10s of video (to be honest, most classical gop implies a frame every one or two seconds)
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    Excellent comment focused on the clash between Flash and Apple. Apple promotes JavaScript, CSS and AJAX: the WebKit- SproutCore recipe
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Gary Edwards

SVG Is The Future Of Application Development | SitePoint » - 0 views

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    I could see this coming a mile away, ana it's about time! ".... So if HTML can't deliver for us here, what will? Microsoft wants us to use Silverlight and Adobe wants us to use Flash and AIR, of course. And Apple…? Apple ostensibly wants us to use HTML5's canvas. Both Microsoft's and Adobe's contenders are proprietary, which seems to be reason enough for web developers to avoid them to a certain degree, and all of them muddy HTML, which is a dangerous thing for the semantic web. But Apple actually has a trick up its sleeve. Like Mozilla's been doing with Firefox, Apple has quietly been implementing better support for SVG, the W3C's Recommendation for XML-based vector graphics, into WebKit. SVG delivers the same kind of vector graphics capabilities that Flash does, but it does so using all the interoperability benefits that XML brings along for the ride. SVG is great for graphically displaying both text and images, manipulating them with declarative visual primitives, and it comes with a host of lickable effects. Ironically, SVG was originally jointly developed by both Adobe and Sun Microsystems but recently it's Sun Labs that has been doing interesting stuff with the technology. The most compelling experiment of this kind has to be Sun Labs's Lively Kernel project....."
Gary Edwards

Google Chrome: Bad news for Adobe « counternotions - 0 views

  • Agree with much of what Kontra said and disagree with many who mentioned alternatives to JavaScript/Chrome. The main, simplest reason Adobe will be in a losing fight in terms of web platform? The Big Two - Google and Microsoft - will never make themselves dependent on or promote Adobe platform and strategy.
  • Luis, I think that’s already in play with HTML5. As I pointed out in Runtime wars (2): Apple’s answer to Flash, Silverlight and JavaFX, Apple and WHATWG are firmly progressing along those lines. Canvas is at the center of it. The glue language for all this, JavaScript, is getting a potent shot in the arm. The graphics layer, at the level of SVG, needs more work. And so on.
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    "What's good for the Internet is good for Google, and the company says its strategic proposition for the newly introduced Chrome browser is: a better platform is needed to deliver a new generation of online applications......." This is one of the best explanations of why Google had to do Chrome i've seen thus far. Kontra also provided some excellent coverage concerning the Future of the Web in a two part article previously published. Here he nails the RiA space, comparing Google Chrome, Apollo (Adobe AiR/Flex/Flash) and Microsoft Silverlight. Chrome is clearly an Open Web play. Apollo and Sivlerlight are proprietary bound in some way. Although it must be said that Apollo implements the SAME WebKit layout engine / WebKit docuemtn model as Google Chrome, apple Safari-iPhone, Nokia, RiM and the Iris "Smart Phone" browser. The WebKit model is based on advanced HTML, CSS, SVG and JavaScript. Where Adobe goes proprietary is in replacing SVG with the proprietary SWF. The differences between JavaScript and ActionScript are inconsequential to me, especially given the problems at Ecma. One other point not covered by Kontra is the fact that Apollo and Silverlight can run as either browser plugins or standalone runtimes. Wha tthey can't do though is run as sufing browsers. They are clearly for Web applications. Chome on the other hand re-invents the browser to handle both surfing mode AND RiA. Plus, a Chrome RiA can also run as a plugin in other browsers (Opera and FireFox). Very cool. The last point is that i wouldn't totally discount apple RiA. They too use WebKit. The differnece is tha tapple uses the SquirrelFish JavaScript JiT with the SproutCore-Cocoa developers framework. This approach is designed to bridge the gap between the OSX desktop/server Cocoa API, and the WebKit-SproutCore API. Chrome uses the V8 JiT. And Adobe uses Tamarin to compile JavaScript-ActionScript. Tamarin was donated to the Mozilla community. If there is anythin that will s
Paul Merrell

Apple could use Brooklyn case to pursue details about FBI iPhone hack: source | Reuters - 0 views

  • If the U.S. Department of Justice asks a New York court to force Apple Inc to unlock an iPhone, the technology company could push the government to reveal how it accessed the phone which belonged to a shooter in San Bernardino, a source familiar with the situation said.The Justice Department will disclose over the next two weeks whether it will continue with its bid to compel Apple to help access an iPhone in a Brooklyn drug case, according to a court filing on Tuesday.The Justice Department this week withdrew a similar request in California, saying it had succeeded in unlocking an iPhone used by one of the shooters involved in a rampage in San Bernardino in December without Apple's help.The legal dispute between the U.S. government and Apple has been a high-profile test of whether law enforcement should have access to encrypted phone data.
  • Apple, supported by most of the technology industry, says anything that helps authorities bypass security features will undermine security for all users. Government officials say that all kinds of criminal investigations will be crippled without access to phone data.Prosecutors have not said whether the San Bernardino technique would work for other seized iPhones, including the one at issue in Brooklyn. Should the Brooklyn case continue, Apple could pursue legal discovery that would potentially force the FBI to reveal what technique it used on the San Bernardino phone, the source said. A Justice Department representative did not have immediate comment.
Paul Merrell

What to Do About Lawless Government Hacking and the Weakening of Digital Security | Electronic Frontier Foundation - 0 views

  • In our society, the rule of law sets limits on what government can and cannot do, no matter how important its goals. To give a simple example, even when chasing a fleeing murder suspect, the police have a duty not to endanger bystanders. The government should pay the same care to our safety in pursuing threats online, but right now we don’t have clear, enforceable rules for government activities like hacking and "digital sabotage." And this is no abstract question—these actions increasingly endanger everyone’s security
  • The problem became especially clear this year during the San Bernardino case, involving the FBI’s demand that Apple rewrite its iOS operating system to defeat security features on a locked iPhone. Ultimately the FBI exploited an existing vulnerability in iOS and accessed the contents of the phone with the help of an "outside party." Then, with no public process or discussion of the tradeoffs involved, the government refused to tell Apple about the flaw. Despite the obvious fact that the security of the computers and networks we all use is both collective and interwoven—other iPhones used by millions of innocent people presumably have the same vulnerability—the government chose to withhold information Apple could have used to improve the security of its phones. Other examples include intelligence activities like Stuxnet and Bullrun, and law enforcement investigations like the FBI’s mass use of malware against Tor users engaged in criminal behavior. These activities are often disproportionate to stopping legitimate threats, resulting in unpatched software for millions of innocent users, overbroad surveillance, and other collateral effects.  That’s why we’re working on a positive agenda to confront governmental threats to digital security. Put more directly, we’re calling on lawyers, advocates, technologists, and the public to demand a public discussion of whether, when, and how governments can be empowered to break into our computers, phones, and other devices; sabotage and subvert basic security protocols; and stockpile and exploit software flaws and vulnerabilities.  
  • Smart people in academia and elsewhere have been thinking and writing about these issues for years. But it’s time to take the next step and make clear, public rules that carry the force of law to ensure that the government weighs the tradeoffs and reaches the right decisions. This long post outlines some of the things that can be done. It frames the issue, then describes some of the key areas where EFF is already pursuing this agenda—in particular formalizing the rules for disclosing vulnerabilities and setting out narrow limits for the use of government malware. Finally it lays out where we think the debate should go from here.   
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    "In our society, the rule of law sets limits on what government can and cannot do, no matter how important its goals. "
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    It's not often that I disagree with EFF's positions, but on this one I do. The government should be prohibited from exploiting computer vulnerabilities and should be required to immediately report all vulnerabilities discovered to the relevant developers of hardware or software. It's been one long slippery slope since the Supreme Court first approved wiretapping in Olmstead v. United States, 277 US 438 (1928), https://goo.gl/NJevsr (.) Left undecided to this day is whether we have a right to whisper privately, a right that is undeniable. All communications intercept cases since Olmstead fly directly in the face of that right.
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Apple security flaw could be a backdoor for the NSA - RT USA - 1 views

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    "Was the National Security Agency exploiting two just-discovered security flaws to hack into the iPhones and Apple computers of certain targets? Some skeptics are saying there is cause to be concerned about recent coincidences regarding the NSA and Apple"
Paul Merrell

Ericsson Sues to Block Apple iPhone in U.S. Amid Patent Spat | Bloomberg BNA - 0 views

  • The licensing battle between Apple Inc. and Ericsson AB is escalating.Ericsson, a pioneer in mobile phones that transformed itself into the world's largest maker of wireless networks, said Friday it's filing seven new lawsuits in a U.S. court and is asking the U.S. International Trade Commission to block Apple products from the U.S. market.Together, the complaints accuse Apple of infringing as many as 41 patents for some of the fundamental ways mobile devices communicate and for related technology such as user interfaces, battery saving and the operating system.
  • Apple had been paying royalties to Stockholm-based Ericsson before a license expired in mid-January. When talks over renewal failed, the companies sued each other, seeking court rulings on whether Ericsson's royalty demands on fundamental technology were fair and reasonable.
  • The new complaints being filed by Ericsson at the International Trade Commission in Washington take the dispute to another level and are designed to put pressure on Apple. The trade commission, whose job is to protect U.S. markets from unfair trade practices, moves more swiftly than district courts and has the power to block products from crossing the border.Apple's iPhone, iPad and other devices are made in Asia.
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

How similar are OS X and Linux? | CIO - 0 views

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    "In today's Apple roundup: What are the similarities between OS X and Linux? Plus: Why Apple bought FoundationDB, and reviews of the new 13-inch Macbook Pro with Force Touch"
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    "In today's Apple roundup: What are the similarities between OS X and Linux? Plus: Why Apple bought FoundationDB, and reviews of the new 13-inch Macbook Pro with Force Touch"
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